Tutorial 9: Animating a Multilegged Creature

Lesson 2: Adding Extra Limbs

In this lesson you will add two arms and link them to the biped to make a six-legged creature. You'll use the Snapshot command is used to create the two extra arms which are repositioned and linked to the spine.

Note that the extra limbs become 3D Studio MAX objects, and must be animated with rotations. They will not respond to Biped figure mode or inverse kinematics.

Using the Snapshot command

  1. Create a biped.

  2. Select the upper arms and rotate them about the local Y axis to move them away from the body.

  3. Use region select to select both the biped arms.

  4. On the 3D Studio MAX Main toolbar click Snapshot.

    Snapshot is one of the options in the Array flyout.

  5. Make sure the Single and Mesh options are on in the Snapshot dialog. Click OK.

Selecting and moving the arms down

  1. On the 3D Studio MAX toolbar, click Select by Name.

    The copied arms are coincident with the original arms so you'll use Select by Name to select the copied arms.

  2. In the Select by Name dialog turn on Display Subtree and Select Subtree.

  3. Click Bip01 L UpperArm01. Hold down the CTRL key and click Bip01 R Upperarm01 and click Select.

    Both of the copied arms, hands and fingers are selected.

  4. In the viewports, move the copied arms down to where they should attach to the body.

Linking the arms to the biped spine

  1. On the 3D Studio MAX toolbar, click Select and Link.

  2. Link both of the copied upper arms to the closest biped spine object.

  3. Animate the copied limbs using rotations.

    Note that the copied arms are now 3DS MAX objects. Figure mode cannot be used on the copied arms.

    Use frame 0 as the fit frame to a mesh. Start animating the arms at frame 1.

    You can use the same procedure with 3D Studio MAX bones to create jaws, wings, fins and so on. Create the additional bones, link them to the biped at the nearest location, and then animate them using 3DS MAX techniques.